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Shaking All Over: Coach Dominic Kinnear gave defender Wade Barrett (pictured) the captain's armband for the 2005 season.

Earth Moves

By

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AT THE BEGINNING of this season, the San Jose Earthquakes were fighting against all odds. Coach Dominic Kinnear had to rebuild nearly the entire squad after the departures of Landon Donovan, Richard Mulrooney, Jeff Agoos and Ronnie Ekelund. Kinnear made some bold choices and brought in several new folks, including Brad Davis, Ricardo Clark and Mark Chung. In fact, some of the new faces weren't new at all. San Jose's all-time leading scorer Ronald Cerritos returned from El Salvador and defender Wade Barrett returned from a stint in Scandinavia. And guess what happened? The Quakes are now sitting all alone atop the Major League Soccer standings, pending some post-deadline results. The team has grown into a pure working-class, blue-collar squad with no rock stars, no prima donnas and no head cases. At least it looks that way. Everyone seems to be having a blast and it completely shows on the field.

About two months ago, the Quakes did not look like contenders at all, and at the beginning of the season, everyone predicted they would finish near last place. But as each game goes by, you can see more and more flashes of the championship Quakes starting to come back. The team is unbeaten at home this year and over its last nine has racked up a 7-1-1 record, the only loss coming in a collective collapse in Washington, D.C. The team is playing with a truckload of confidence, and the locker room consistently overflows with a partylike atmosphere after games. The ClubQuake tailgate in the east parking lot is legendary, with die-hard fans engaging in all sorts of nefarious exploits.


The Earthquakes battle Colorado this Saturday, Aug. 13, at 7pm at Spartan Stadium. Tickets $13$45. (408.985.GOAL)


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From the August 10-16, 2005 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2005 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.




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